The Black Plague is also known as the ‘Black Plague’, ‘Great Plague’ and similar it refers in the main to the devastating Black Plague of the 14th century in the middle ages although there are other periods in history that have had their own ‘Great Plagues’.
Plague by definition in the dictionary is a bacterial infection in either the lymph systems.
A pandemic basically means ‘world-wide’ or ‘everywhere’.
Is is thought that the ‘Black Plague’ was caused by the deadly bacterium ‘Yersinia Pestis’ – the name came from the scientist who discovered it ‘Alexandre Yersin’.
These names the ‘Black Plague’, ‘Black Death’ etc are all modern names for the disease and they were not familiar with medieval people of the middle ages.
Other older names for the ‘Black Plague’ were the ‘Great Pestilence’ and ‘Great Mortality’.
When these fleas bit any victim, the plague is transmitted to the victim as well.
The ‘Black Plague’ was carried by fleas that lived on dirty rats in medieval towns and cities.
During the Middle Ages, people were baffled by the disease and they had no idea where it came from or how it spread
‘Plague Doctors’ of the time had no success in treating the disease.
The Black plague caused Flu like symptoms, after this large tumors would grow in the armpit and groin areas, these tumors could be as large as a tennis ball.
The next stage of the ‘black plague’ was even worse as the victim would start to get the dreaded ‘Black Spots’ all over their bodies, which started to spread more rapidly.
The name of black plague is a good choice for the disease because of the Necrotic tissue (Dead Organ Cells).
Plague Doctor Methods Hand Bubonic Plague
Medieval peoples body parts such as hands and feet would turn black and then drop off.
There are various figures put forward as being the correct number of people who died of ‘the black plague’ with some putting it as high as 60% of the population or around 200 million lives.
Whilst infected flea bites from rats was the major cause, the disgusting conditions in dirty medieval towns and cities combined with the dead and rotting corpses provided a perfect breeding ground for the plague.
The Black Plague and Rats
A few lucky areas in Europe escaped the pandemic mainly because they were isolated places such as locations in the Alps, Poland and Belgium for example – They were the Lucky Ones!